US Citizen Says He Was Denied Refugee Status At US Consulate In Hong Kong


HONG KONG – A US citizen facing prosecution over his participation in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong has said he was removed after seeking protection from the US consulate in the city.
“I’m running out of options,” said the man, Ansen Wong, a 20-year-old student turned activist.
Mr. Wong was convicted this year on a charge of criminal damage – akin to vandalism – in connection with protest activity. He is now on trial for illegal assembly after joining a massive anti-government protest outside the Hong Kong legislature in 2019.
Mr. Wong disputed the charges but missed a mandatory court appearance on the day he approached the consulate. An illegal gathering can result in up to five years in prison, but in practice former protesters convicted of the offense have received much lighter sentences.
After entering the US mission on October 27 with three other dissidents, Mr. Wong said he asked to be taken refuge inside the consulate. He said a consular officer told him that was not possible and instead advised him to find a lawyer and that diplomats would monitor his case.

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